House of Commons Hansard #115 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was commissioner.

Topics

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Mississauga South.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Member for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Denis Lebel Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am coming to the end of my first session here in this honourable chamber.

The welcome I have received from my colleagues has made me feel part of a vibrant and evolving community whose members, despite differences in opinions and ideologies, are all working for the betterment of the country.

Individuals and groups made different choices to protect the interests of their constituents. As part of the Conservative Party and under the leadership of the Prime Minister, and with the help of my colleagues—ministers, parliamentary secretaries and MPs—I kept a promise to advance the Quebec nation within a strong and united Canada.

Unlike my Bloc Québécois colleagues, who mistakenly claim to be the only members representing Quebec, I can say that, thanks to us, Quebec is becoming stronger within the Canadian federation.

I am reassured by how our government operates. Its approach to the nation's business does not include shell games, such as the Liberal Party's carbon tax, or the Monopoly money budgets we see every day from the Bloc.

The Environment
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Brent St. Denis Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, soon, the Liberal leader and his team will unveil a new way to look at pollution and climate change. Unlike the Conservatives and the New Democrats, the Liberals are inviting Canadians to engage in an important dialogue on the future of energy use in Canada.

False reports by the Conservatives about a green tax shift underline their own lack of action and desperation.

They know, we know and Canadians know that something has to be done. Neither Canada nor the world can wait any longer.

Our plan will be comprehensive and it will be revenue neutral. Low income and middle income Canadians in particular will benefit from our green tax shift.

Canada cannot allow itself to lag behind in the green industrial revolution.

As one important aboriginal teaching says, “Our vision must be for seven generations”.

We know that Canadians want this debate and are aware of the consequences of inaction. It is sad that the Conservatives and the New Democrats do not have confidence in Canadians.

Louise Arbour
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, Louise Arbour will soon step down as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. This brave, determined Quebecker has been one of our most illustrious representatives abroad.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, said that Louise Arbour never hesitated to incur the criticism of states or other parties by highlighting the victims of abuses or pointing out the inadequacies of national legal systems, and she consistently represented the highest ideals of the organization.

She criticized the United States for the treatment of detainees in Guantanamo, condemned human rights violations during the most recent war in Lebanon and stated that Israel had an obligation to protect everyone under its territorial responsibility.

Louise Arbour has done a tremendous amount of work to advance human rights, no matter what the Conservatives think. She is a model for us all.

Congratulations, Ms. Arbour.

National Aboriginal Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, this National Aboriginal Day will see the start of an incredible journey from Vancouver to Ottawa. Gladys Radek will lead hundreds of people on the walk4justice.

Ms. Radek wants all Canadians to recognize that violence against aboriginal women is ongoing and that more women are missing than reported by the media. She wants to highlight the need for safeguards against violence against women and the need for more mechanisms of transparency and accountability for authorities.

Ms. Radek's own niece, Tamara Chipman, went missing on the “highway of tears” in March 2005. That personal connection is what prompted Ms. Radek to start this walk4justice. Tamara's son was left behind when she went missing, and Ms. Radek thinks all Canadians need to realize that a missing woman is often a mother, leaving behind children who will always wonder, “Where did my mother go?”

The walk4justice will arrive in Ottawa on September 15, only a few days after Parliament resumes sitting. I urge all members of this House to meet with Gladys Radek and the other walkers when they arrive in Ottawa.

More importantly, I urge everyone to take action now to stop violence against aboriginal women here and in our home communities.

Carbon Tax Proposal
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, a carbon tax is a tax on poor, rural, working class people. Even an elitist such as the Premier of Ontario understands that it is nothing more than a yuppie fad.

The Liberal carbon tax plan is to impose punishing new regulations and taxes, a fact recognized by Dalton McGuinty. He has made it clear that he rejects a massive carbon tax grab. He has gone so far as to warn that imposing a new carbon tax on fuels and other products is a foolish way to combat climate change and will lead to massive unemployment in Ontario's manufacturing and forestry sectors.

Rural dwellers in my riding of Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke have no choice about transportation. The Liberal carbon tax will force them to give up other things, such as buying food and educating their children.

This past weekend, the Liberal environment critic was attempting to convince Ontarians and all Canadians that a punitive Liberal carbon tax plan was a good thing, something even his own brother rejects.

Rural Canadians, seniors and those living on fixed incomes will not be tricked into swallowing a new, permanent, Liberal carbon tax.

Housing
Statements By Members

June 18th, 2008 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the city of Winnipeg has a rental housing shortage and a 1% rental vacancy rate. Families are struggling to find safe housing in stable neighbourhoods, yet in my riding approximately 126 military houses stand empty at the former Kapyong military barracks.

Despite representations by coalitions of community and church groups, the houses remain empty and have been empty for years. The houses are victim to bureaucratic and legal gymnastics, as they are the property of the defence department and awaiting transfer to the Canada Lands Company.

Inflexible government regulations prevent the community from having access to these potential homes. At last inquiry, the cost to the taxpayer of maintaining the empty houses is over $225,000 annually.

Repeated requests to the government members in Winnipeg have come up empty. Discussions with the Department of National Defence have drawn a blank.

A short term solution for the use of these houses is urgent. Winnipeg families in need of housing deserve no less.

Carbon Tax Proposal
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, Liberals across Canada are terrified of how Canadians will react to their leader's plan to impose a new carbon tax. The tax would jack up the price of gas, electricity and everything else.

Yesterday, three Liberal MPs distanced themselves from their leader when they supported a Conservative motion to protect Canadian farmers against a punitive carbon tax. These three MPs are the latest examples of senior Liberals breaking ranks with their leader over his tax trick.

Senior Liberal pollster Michael Marzolini has reportedly warned his party that “a carbon tax is a risky way to go”.

Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella has warned other Liberals that a carbon tax “is unfair to people on fixed incomes (like the elderly) and the poor”.

Yesterday, the former Liberal prime minister took great pains to avoid endorsing a carbon tax during a live television interview.

Not only is the Liberal leader failing to trick Canadians, he cannot even trick members of his own Liberal Party.

La Guerre River Basin Sustainable Agriculture Council
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of all my Bloc Québécois colleagues, I congratulate the Club agroenvironnemental du bassin La Guerre, an organization dedicated to the promotion and development of sustainable agriculture in Saint-Anicet, in the riding of Beauharnois—Salaberry. It has just been awarded the Canadian Geographic 2008 Canadian Environment Award in the Environmental Learning category.

Together with the Institut de recherche et de développement en agroenvironnement and four other partners, the council helped farmers implement practices to reduce agricultural run-off towards the La Guerre River and Saint-François Lake.

The practices adopted by these farmers resulted in a significant decrease in the flow of sediment into the watershed. Mobilization and education by the council as well as the implementation of sustainable solutions by our farmers are a source of inspiration for Quebec.

I am proud of this prestigious environmental award and congratulate all those involved.

Carbon Tax Proposal
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Fabian Manning Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, senior Liberals are hinting that we are just one day away from the unveiling of the latest round of Liberal tax tricks.

As the big day draws near, Canadians can look forward to a non-stop barrage of excuses, half-hearted promises and phony green packaging as the Liberal leader tries yet again to fool Canadians into paying more so he can spend more.

Liberal MPs, senior Liberal strategists, commentators, members of the media, truckers, small business owners, provincial premiers, environmentalists, and working families have condemned the carbon tax as an ineffective and disastrous policy.

Prior to this massive flip-flop, the Liberal leader himself said a carbon tax was “bad policy”. Just yesterday, three Liberal MPs voted with our government in favour of protecting our farmers from a carbon tax.

Unfortunately for the Liberal leader, Canadians see right through his scheme. It is no wonder that so many Liberals are running scared about going public with the Liberal tax trick. Canadians will not be fooled this time around.

George Mackie Library
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, last weekend my community celebrated the 25th anniversary of the George Mackie Library with Mr. Mackie's son John and three generations of their family. Mr. Mackie was a respected pioneer and leader.

Far from being just a storeroom of books and magazines, the George Mackie Library has been a meeting place for everyone from young to old and a hub for the entire neighbourhood.

Thousands of children have taken part in its activities over the years, including its highly successful summer reading program.

I congratulate the Delta library staff and volunteers for 25 great years and encourage everyone to visit the George Mackie Library this summer.

Agriculture
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, I recently had the pleasure of making several visits to P.E.I. to meet with farmers from all across the Island.

Island farmers told me how frustrated they were with the member for Malpeque. Instead of talking about the issues important to his constituents, all the member seems to want to talk about is the Canadian Wheat Board.

Farmers in P.E.I. talked to me about potatoes, livestock and our government's strong support for supply management. Not one farmer asked me about the Canadian Wheat Board, which only exists in western Canada.

I promised these farmers that since their member of Parliament was absent on the issues important to them, I would raise the issues directly with the minister.

The people of P.E.I. need their representatives to work tirelessly in bringing their concerns to Ottawa. The residents of Malpeque deserve better. They deserve an MP who understands their priorities and brings their interests to Ottawa. In the next election, they will demand better. They will demand a Conservative member of Parliament.

Stanley Knowles
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to one of the greatest and best loved parliamentarians in Canadian history, the former member of Parliament for Winnipeg North Centre, the Hon. Stanley Knowles, who would have been 100 years old today.

First elected in 1942 in a byelection caused by the death of J.S. Woodsworth, Stanley Knowles became a fixture and then a legend in Canadian politics, serving until 1984 when a stroke made it impossible to continue.

As a token of affection and esteem and in recognition of his extraordinary expertise, former Prime Minister Trudeau made him an honourary table officer of Parliament, giving him the extraordinary privilege of sitting at the clerks table in the House of Commons for the rest of his life.

Stanley Knowles loved this place and cherished and revered the parliamentary system. We would all do well to reflect on the dignity, integrity and common decency with which he conducted himself in his long, illustrious career.

Every day that I take my seat in the House of Commons, I am acutely aware of the honour that is mine to follow in the footsteps of that great parliamentarian and to represent the good people in the riding that he served. His name still comes up--

Stanley Knowles
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Mississauga East—Cooksville.

Veterans Affairs
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government's record on veterans affairs can be summarized as frothy promises mixed with flat results.

The government broke its promise to give VIP services to all widows and, in the last two years, only added 5,000 survivors to the program. In the last two years of the Liberal government, we added 20,000 without fanfare.

The government excluded allied veterans from the VIP in three budgets while criticizing a decade-old decision to do the same thing. It announced a Veterans Bill of Rights that had no bill, no legislation and absolutely no new rights.

On agent orange, after two years of delay, about 3% of those it promised to compensate will see any money.

However, the government followed through on the New Veterans Charter passed in 2005 and opened new OSI clinics in Calgary and Fredericton, also announced that year.

I feel that veterans deserve a government that exceeds expectations the way veterans did for their government.